There seem to be some forces sabotaging the fight against illegal mining (galamsey) despite government’s commitment to eradicate the menace.
In an audio intercepted by is a meeting of New Patriotic Party(NPP) communicators in the Ashanti region chaired by Mr Bernard Antwi Bosiako, also known as chairman Wontumi at the party office.
Mr Wontumi is heard on tape informing the gathering on a recent amount paid to renew his mining license, adding that ‘work will soon start on his mining site’ despite ban on mining in reserved forests.
He is also heard hatching desperate measures to run affairs of the NPP in the region with proceeds from the galamsey business.
”… and Frimpong Boateng…came and they confiscated my excavators and not a single excavator was given to me. Non could even ask me to return to my site. it’s only last 3 weeks ago that I went to pay $1million to renew my license to resume my mining business. Because that’s the only means through which I’m able to get money and take care of my people. I was denied access to work until I paid. Yet people keep ranting that Wontumi has secured a job. If Kofi Job has been able to secure a job, why can’t I’’ he quizzed.
In what seem to be a campaign, he assured party executives that he’ll help them retain their positions if they support his candidature.
In April 2019, Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako revealed that some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are sabotaging the President’s fight against illegal mining in the country, adding that the process ‘is being challenged by party elements’
Mr Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has also admitted that most often than not, party people and lots of big wigs fight against the process at the Appointments Committee of Parliament during his vetting. Again, a former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Collins Dauda, has said government continued to suffer setbacks against the fight because its top executives at the constituency and regional levels were complicit in the act.
”…If you’re a government and you want to deal with illegal mining activities and you have your regional chairman deeply involved in it, your constituency chairman deeply involved in it, it’ll be difficult sometimes to call your regional chairman to order. Particularly if that regional chairman is so influential, that the angle I am coming from’’.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul says President Akufo-Addo will not hesitate to prosecute any minister of state arrested for engaging in illegal mining activities. He also added that security officials who also engage in the act in any way will also not be spared and face full rigorous of the law.
At a press briefing after an operation to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners on various water bodies in the country, Mr Nitiwul stated that the Akufo-Addo government is resolute to clamp down on galamsey.